Rialto Theatre

1625 North Franklin Street,
Tampa, FL 33602

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Cinema Theatre (formerly Rialto Theatre) Tampa FL

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The former Rialto Theatre opened on North Franklin Street in 1926. It has been in use as an auto repair shop for many years, but this was closed in late 2005. The stagehouse still retains a “ghost” of the painted sign reading “Rialto Theatre”.

Contributed by John Evans

Recent comments (view all 21 comments)

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on February 12, 2009 at 1:29 pm

The date given for this photo is October 29, 1943.

Jorge
Jorge on October 19, 2009 at 11:53 am

This is SO awesome…never knew a theater was there! Love this site! The site of the abandoned area is visually “haunting” in its own way.

Nunzienick
Nunzienick on April 24, 2010 at 12:52 am

I had seen a really nice photo showing a crowd of people lined up outside awaiting entrance to a movie called “Hotel Berlin” What’s unique about this photo is that it shows the name of this theatre had apparently been changed from Rialto to The Cinema. But now I can’t seem to find this photo anywhere! I thought it was part of the photo collection at the library but it’s not listed within the collection. If it was ever part of the collection then it’s been removed. If I ever see it again I’ll post it.

Here’s another view of the building taken on 11/19/31:
View link

And another view taken on 5/2/25:
View link

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on April 25, 2010 at 7:14 pm

Beautiful pictures,Just got in from working BEAUTY and the BEAST what a killer show. Almost a five hour out.I mean Killer show,nothing went right Backstage,Charlie knows. Catch you later nick,this old stagehand is beat to the DAWG BONE.

Nunzienick
Nunzienick on May 27, 2010 at 5:49 pm

Here’s the photo I was searching for. A crowd awaits entrance to “HOTEL BERLIN” in 1945.
Note the banner now signifying the name change to Cinema.
View link

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on May 27, 2010 at 6:36 pm

Love the pictures,Nick. I saw the “JAWS” AD with Bill.Great.

AndyCallahanMajorMajor
AndyCallahanMajorMajor on December 22, 2010 at 11:58 pm

I visited the Rialto again last week. I was able to get inside the theater and take a look around. It’s still being used as a warehouse and has more or less been gutted. The projection window is still visible, as is the giant arch over the stage. My two interior and two exterior shots are visible here.

Nunzienick
Nunzienick on February 2, 2011 at 11:25 pm

Just saw your posting Andy. Great shots! You were lucky to have gotten inside. Nice shot of the proscenium arch…looks like the theatre had a nice-size screen. I drive down Florida Avenue at least once a week when I leave downtown. I always look towards the rear of the building as I pass by and see the faded “Rialto Theatre” lettering painted at the top rear. As much as I would love to see the interior I never had the nerve to park and walk to the building with all those unsavory characters lurking about in that area. I’m glad to hear the building is at least being used and not abandoned to deteriorate further. Thanks for the photos!

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on May 7, 2011 at 10:35 am

Great shots Andy,glad I am checking on my Tampa theatres today,a lot of NEW pictures to enjoy.You are right about Downtown areas Nick,Be careful guys.

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